Choosing Your First Semester Classes

Welcome incoming freshmen! Good to see that you’ve chosen UC Berkeley as the school of your choice, and good to see you’re interested in Haas.

A very common question I’ve received from students lately is how to choose your first semester schedule at Cal, and it’s amazing I haven’t written about it before; so here goes!

In a nutshell, I suggest you take these classes your first semester:

  • Math
  • R&C or fun / breadth / pre-req
  • fun / breadth / pre-req
  • fun / breadth / pre-req

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Haas: What Happens If I Don’t Get In?

Reality? Nothing happens. Nothing happens when you get in, either.

Yesterday, hundreds of people received a congratulatory message from the Haas School of Business, yet other hundreds received a not so encouraging one. Some celebrated, others were disappointed.

Whatever was the result of that outcome, or the outcome that is to come, remember that your major does not dictate your career nor your life. If everyone had to be a business major to do consulting or accounting, the corporate world wouldn’t be as diverse as it is today.

If you will soon enter the Haas Class of 2017; congratulations! If you did not, that’s okay. Both of your journeys do not end at this point. Instead, you have to work even harder in order to do what you love.

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Identity and Business

Before you say anything: it’s okay to have opinions. It’s okay to change direction. You have four years to ponder the life that you will be living.

When I finally thought about college, it was the summer right before my senior year of high school. I had many interests, but I had to write down a list of all the majors I was going to consider; and boy was it a hefty one! Things like foreign language, design, neuroscience, and pharmacy were on all that list. Eventually, it came down to business and translation; the latter of which was my primary interest at the time. I thought about business primarily because my mother suggested it. I know, I should follow my own dreams and not my parents’. But I wanted to remain open to all possible paths, so I considered the idea. I eventually applied and chose Berkeley because of their business program in addition to its strengths in nearly every other program. I figured that if I changed my mind, Cal would have something else for me.

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Back Up Majors

Back-up and prospective majors are imperative when it comes to Haas. Since nothing is finite, it’s always good to have other disciplines to pursue, especially if you have other interests. Here are some examples of choices for either a simultaneous degree or a Haas replacement that many people have pursued.

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Challenges and Computer Science

I write this tonight as I take a break from writing code for Computer Science 61A, or Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, taught through the programming language of Python. This course is the first class for computer science majors, and known for being a notoriously difficult class. As I’m interested in technical recruiting, I wanted to give it a shot this summer, while simultaneously taking on a part-time job (I think of it as a paid internship) in San Francisco, updating the blog, and figuring out a better way to represent my personal website. And boy is this tough. (This relates to Haas! Keep reading!)

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